18 August 2015

Lingerie: Cream Bra

It's been a while since I've had a big enough chunk of time to sew something for myself, and of course, my mind went straight to bra making. I had actually been putting off making my next bra, even though I knew what style I wanted, and what I would make it from. As I mentioned when I made my last bra, I made the decision to try a larger size underwire.

For the first four bras that I made, I used 12B underwires, then I quickly changed to the next size up for the following ten bras! I didn't realise at the time, but the wires from my supplier jump in size quite a lot between 12B and 12C. At the centre the wire is approx 10mm higher, and at the sides they are 15mm higher. It was for this reason that I hesitated to change to a 12D. I didn't want them to be that much bigger again! The 12C wires fit me pretty well, but I wanted to move the wires a little closer together at Centre Front, which would bring the outer edge of the wire in too close. Fortunately for me, there must be some kind of discrepancy in the sizings, as the 12D wires are wider, but are actually shorter than the 12C, which made my decision to go up another wire size so much easier.

12B on top, 12c in the middle, and 12D underwires at the bottom
I have had my 12D wires for over a month now, but wanted to wait until I had time to put a bra together to do anything about it. On my most recent bras, the bra cups fit pretty well, so it was just a matter of making the necessary changes to the bra cradle for the different wire, and changing the edge of the cups to correspond to those changes. Well, mostly.

The Bra
For this pattern, I started with the pattern I used for my mint and white lace bra. I had already made some changes to the upper cup based on how it fit, so I used that altered piece, as well as the original bra cradle and strap pieces, and the same shaping around the upper cup. As I wanted a three piece cup for this bra, I took the lower cup pieces from my blue duchess satin bra, since I had already made the change from 2 piece to 3 piece for that bra.

I then made the following changes to come up with this pattern:

Outer edge of bra cradle, down by 6mm, out by 6mm, draw in new wire curve
Inner edge of bra cradle, down by 2mm
CF of bra cradle, at top cut off a few mm so total width between wires is 15mm, cut out 10mm at bottom edge. This change was in effect to swivel the wires around in an attempt to have them flush against the skin. Most (if not all) of my previous bras have had a gap between the wire and skin, and my theory was to move the wires further around towards the CF to fix this. Good in theory, and when pressing wires up against my skin, but time to put this theory into practice.

These are the pattern pieces that I made changes to. All but the lower inner cup piece!

To add the extra width to the upper cup and lower outer cup pieces, I traced them over my light box, lining up the original sewing lines with the lines on the bra cradle pattern piece, and tracing out the new lines of the changes that I made to the bra cradle.

I know this was probably a lot of changes to do at once, and you should only make one change at a time to see what effect it will have on other things, but I don't believe in doing anything by halves, or maybe it's just that I'm just impatient, and have other projects that I want to get on with!

Interfacing and cream satin - stash / gift
$0.28    Tricot
$0.24    Powernet
$0.79    Bra wadding
$0.66    Underwires
$1.15    Underwire casing
$1.29    Elastic
$0.95    Strap elastic
$0.56    Rings and Sliders
$2.00    Hook and eye closure
$0.54    Thread (rough estimate)

Grand Total  $8.46

Having only worn this bra once since I finished it, I can say that it is quite comfortable to wear. The changes to the cup pieces worked well, but I do think that if I keep the smaller gap between the wires at centre front, that maybe I should add some extra coverage at the sides.

The big question though, is how did the changes go with swivelling the wires towards centre front? Well, there is still a gap there. I just can't seem to get the wires to sit flush against the skin. When I wear one of my other bras and pinch out some fabric at the bottom edge of the cradle, it does seem to fix the problem, but when you make the changes for real, it doesn't replicate this. I think I will persevere with this change, but maybe make the wires a bit further apart in future. I'll also have to make a few changes to where the seam lines fall so that they don't look all wonky!

Another change that I was holding off making until after I tired the new wire size, is to cut the wire down at Centre Front. The 12C wire is uncomfortably high, and although the 12D isn't as high, when it is swivelled around further, it is almost as bad, and it is really quite annoying. You can be sure that I'll be getting the side cutters and heat shrink out again soon!

I'm having another play with this pattern over the next couple of weeks to try something totally different. The Stashbusting Sewalong theme for August is to face your fears, so I'm going to face one of mine head on: Lycra! No prizes for guessing what I'm going to attempt to make, but feel free to try.

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